We love Japan so when Amanda offered an awesome guest post about the best cultural experiences in Tokyo, we had to say yes!
Approximately 30 million people visit Japan every year. The country’s culture is rich and full of history and tradition, which is one of the reasons that so many people want to travel there. Tokyo, the capital of Japan, was once voted the world’s best city and is the preferred destination for most of its visitors. When a destination has such an amount of visitors arriving each year, it has to offer a bit of something to everyone. Tokyo does not disappoint in that area.
Most people that visit Tokyo want to immerse themselves in the culture. Thankfully, there are several enlightening things to do to give you the Japanese experience.
If you need more information and tips on the best places to stay and what to do, Asiatravelbug’s Guide on where to stay in Tokyo may be a great place to start. Plus, there are a few things you need to know before traveling to Japan.
Below are ten experiences that will give you a taste of Japan’s rich culture.
Wadaiko are traditional Japanese drums that are almost always recognized for their beauty and their large sound. They are usually played at events and festivals around Japan and a major part of the Japanese experience.
You can get wadaiko lessons and learn how to play these beautiful drums with a professional drummer. The lessons are fun and the teacher allows everyone to display their artistic creativity.
There are several places that offer classes and traditional Japanese tea ceremonies in Tokyo; these are a big part of Japanese culture. You can learn the meaning behind the tea ceremonies as well as learn how to prepare your own tea.
At the end, you will be able to relax freely and enjoy the delicious tea that either you have made or was served.
For those who want to have an authentic Japanese warrior experience, there is something for you as well. At Sengoku Photo Studio, you can dress as a Samurai warrior and have your picture taken.
The photographers are there to help you pose in fierce and legitimate combat stances that will leave no doubt that you are a true warrior.
If you want a place where you can experience several different Japanese traditions, the Japanese salon tradition may be for you. It is a one-stop-shop where you will be able to enjoy wearing a kimono while learning about and making Japanese tea. You will also learn about and participate in Japanese dancing, calligraphy, and more.
Ginza Kimono Komachi
The kimono is one of the most recognized things that people relate to Japanese culture. Ginza Kimono Komachi offers you a chance to rent a beautifully designed colorful kimono to wear.
With the various types of kimonos there, everyone will find something to wear. No need to worry about your fit or accessories, all that is provided as well.
Tsukiji and Toyosu Fish Market
The Tsukiji market is in a great location in downtown Tokyo to experience and immerse in local Japanese culture and history. The outer market still remains open and you can take a walk through the alleys to visit all the various restaurants. As you walk you can get a true taste of Japanese food and drink while enjoying the view.
There is also an inner market version that is now located near the Toyosu waterfront district with more than 600 merchants.
Market visits are a traditional tourist destination and a trip there will surely let you experience and see some things that are off of the beaten path.
Geishas are probably the most mysterious and well known Japanese tradition and there are so many ways to experience the geisha culture in Japan.. Their dress and the fact that they must undergo intense training add to their mystery and the meaning behind the tradition.
There are several places where you can experience these entertainers as they perform a variety of shows. The costs vary and shows can be found for people on all budgets.
Another traditional thing that Japan is known for is the larger-than-size wrestlers dressed in their small uniforms and traditional hairstyles. You can experience the life of a sumo wrestler by learning about their daily life and how they train for their fights.
You can also ask the actual wrestlers questions and even take pictures with them.
Enjoy the Cuisine
Tokyo not only offers some of the best-known restaurants and chefs in the world, but there are also many local places that you can go to get a taste of authentic Japanese food.
Other than going to restaurants, you can also take cooking classes where you will learn how to cook traditional Japanese dishes. That way even after you return home, you can continue to enjoy all the savory dishes you had on vacation.
Tokyo is very much a large and modern city with many beautiful landmarks for tourists to visit. The city, in addition to all the traditional landmarks, also has several local parks that boast its greenery and gardens.
If you need a moment to relax, take in the view, take a stroll or take pictures, you may want to visit one of these beautiful parks.
With this list of traditional Japanese experiences, you are all set to take the plunge and plan your trip to Japan. If you have time, why not stay in one of the many unique hotels in the city or try your hand at Japanese paper cutting!
As you can see from these experiences, there is a lot to do and enjoy in Tokyo. Take a moment and plan around some of these sites and make it a trip of a lifetime!